Blinn downs Lamar State-Port Arthur, 88-77

BRENHAM, Texas — The Blinn College men's basketball team (16-8, 6-7) downed Lamar State College-Port Arthur, 88-77, on Wednesday night in the Kruse Center.

"We knew coming into this game it was a big game against a really good team that is well-coached," said Scott Schumacher, Blinn head coach. "Our guys are starting to figure it out and are playing both physically and mentally every time they are on the court. We just kept going after them and our talent level really took over."

Four Buccaneers reached double-digit points as AJ Rainey led Blinn's offense with 28, Azariah Seay followed with 19, Pedro Castro scored 13 and Tristan Ikpe recorded 10.

"This was a big game for us and the home crowd really helped keep our energy up and us get more shots," Castro said. "Coach Schumacher told us that we needed to start separating ourselves so we had the right mindset coming into the game. AJ and Azariah started hitting big shots in the second half and that was big for us."

The Seahawks raced to a 10-0 lead to open the game, but Tristan Ikpe and AJ Rainey combined for eight straight points and Markus Vallien hit a 3-pointer for Blinn to take a 11-10 lead with 14:22 showing on the clock. Back-to-back shots from downtown put the Seahawks back ahead 16-11 until Blinn went on a 6-0 run to get back a 20-19 advantage. After alternating shots at the basket, the Seahawks broke away on a 6-0 run to lead 44-39. Rainey combined for the next five points with a 2-pointer and 3-pointer to even the score 44-44 at the halfway mark.

The Seahawks came out of the second half soaring with six straight points, but Blinn's 10-point run allowed the Buccaneers to pull ahead 59-51. With 8:49 on the clock, Lamar State-Port Arthur evened the score 64-64, but Blinn responded by scoring 10 straight points. Rainey and Castro each scored 3-pointers in the run and further down the stretch Seay scored back-to-back shots from downtown to keep Blinn ahead 82-67. The Buccaneers held onto the lead in the final four minutes for the win.

Next, the Buccaneers will compete on the road against Jacksonville College on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.